Carlisle Castle

inside Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle is both the oldest and the best maintained castle we saw on this trip. It was in active use for much longer.

Caernarfon Castle

castle tower

Caernarfon Castle is bigger and in better shape than Criccieth but perhaps not as impressive as Conwy. Maybe it’s just that we saw Conwy first?


rocks with coast in background

Criccieth was a pleasant afternoon jaunt from Porthmadog. We could have added a coastal walk but weren’t feeling terribly energetic that day.

Conwy Castle

view of estuary from Conwy castle

There’s not much left of the castle except the stones but you can walk around inside and up into the towers and around the castle walls.

The (Rest of) the Alhambra

building with purple tree

The alcazaba was okay but fairly boring especially in the rain. We also did a quick run through the small museum because we weren’t sure how long it was going to take and we needed to get in line for the palaces.

The Nazrid Palaces at the Alhambra

lacy ceiling details

The palaces were beautiful though we were kind of expecting them to be staged with furniture and such so that was a mild disappointment. Still lots to see and loads of detail.

Seville Alcázar Gardens


The alcázar gardens are extensive and a destination in their own right. There weren’t many things blooming when we were there and they were still beautiful.

Seville Alcázar

Entrance with hedge

If you can’t make it to the Alhambra in Granada the Real Alcázar in Seville is similar in style if not scale.